The Open Call is one of the funding competition mechanisms DASA uses to find proposals that address challenges faced by government stakeholders. It gives bidders the opportunity to present their ideas to defence and security stakeholders at any time, without waiting for a relevant Themed Competition.
The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas to improve the defence and/or security of the UK. Your idea could be a concept, technology or service. Our Emerging Innovations category is for less mature innovations, and our Rapid Impact category is for innovations that are more developed.
Suppliers may submit proposals to address any defence challenge or a specific Innovation Focus Area and can submit under either Emerging Innovations or Defence Rapid Impact.
Suppliers may submit proposals under the Security Rapid Impact category to address any security challenge.
It is expected that some proposals will be relevant to both defence and security.
The Open Call competition category ‘Emerging Innovations’ is currently not available for submission. Further information will be provided as soon as this category becomes available again. Please note, you will be able to submit into the Rapid Impact and all IFA categories here. If you have any queries or questions please email: email@example.com
Emerging innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a proof of concept at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or 4. Proof of concept might include component and/or sub-system validation in laboratory-style environment. Successful projects may be candidates for follow-on funding in the Rapid Impact category, although other funding opportunities may be available.
The majority of successful projects start at TRL 2 or 3, which means the basic concept has been formulated and the underpinning technological principles observed at the outset. No funding limit is specified, however we would typically expect to fund bids between £50K - £100K that last between 3 and 10 months. For examples of work we have funded click here.
Emerging Innovations proposals are contracted under the Innovation Standard Contract. Please review the DASA terms and conditions before submitting your proposal.
Rapid Impact Innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a technology model or prototype demonstration at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or 7. This demonstration should be at a limited scale, in the hands of end users, and in the context or environment in which it is expected that the solution would be used. To be successful it will also have to provide evidence of how other MOD/Security business and capability requirements, such as the Defence Lines of Development (DLOD), could be satisfied should the project to be taken forward after the pilot.
Your project should have a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3 year time frame from the completion of the project. Proposals will therefore only be funded if there is a strong customer requirement and capability need for the idea. Proposals could be pre-sifted from the competition prior to full assessment if user need is not explained.
No funding limit is specified, however we would typically expect to fund bids between £100K - £350K. Proposals that demonstrate value for money will be viewed favourably.
Rapid Impact proposals are contracted under the Innovation Standard Contract. Please review the DASA terms and conditions before submitting your proposal.
Security Rapid Impact Innovations are viewed as those which will undergo a period of research and development in order to deliver a technology model or prototype demonstration at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or 7, at the end of the contract. This demonstration should be at a limited scale and in the context or environment in which it is expected that the solution would be used. The research and development project should include all of the activities that are required to provide this limited demonstration, including appropriate testing and validation throughout the project.
Your project can also include a further priced option for a Testing and Trialling phase, taking place after the demonstration. This aims to allow you to gather further data from an operational environment and refine the innovation, trialling its suitability to meet end user’s needs.
The Testing and Trialling phase should be outlined within the full proposal under the ‘Testing and Trialling’ section and should include approximate timings, deliverables and maximum total costs. Please include any travel and subsistence as well as costs from third party sites such as airports, other national infrastructure or publicly accessible location operators. Note, costings for Testing and Trialling should not be inserted into the ‘Finance’ and ‘Delivery Schedule’ sections of the proposal. If you do not wish to include a Testing and Trialling phase, please add ‘N/A’ to the ‘Testing and Trialling’ section on your submission.
An Option Condition between Demonstration and the Testing and Trialling phase will be included in any resultant Contracts awarded and the Authority will be under no obligation to exercise this option. We may cease any further participation if demonstrations (following the development phase) do not meet expectations.
Your project should have a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3 year time frame from the completion of the project. Proposals will therefore only be funded if there is a strong security and/ or defence user requirement and capability need for the idea. Proposals could be pre-sifted from the competition prior to full assessment if security user need is not explained. We are currently seeking ideas related to one or more of the following government departments;
No funding limit is specified, however we would typically expect to fund bids between £100K - £350K. Your project, to include any Testing and Trialling options, must complete by March 2024.
It is expected that some proposals will be relevant to both defence and security.
Security Rapid Impact proposals are contracted under the Innovation Standard Contract. Please review the DASA terms and conditions before submitting your proposal.
For this Security Rapid Impact Competition a submitted Innovation Outline is required prior to full proposal submission.
When submitting a proposal, you must complete all sections of the online form, including an appropriate level of technical information to allow assessment of the bid and a completed finances section. It is also helpful to include a list of other current or recent government funding you may have received in this area if appropriate, making it clear how this proposal differs from this work.
A project plan with clear milestones and deliverables must be provided. Deliverables must be well defined and designed to provide evidence of progress against the project plan and the end-point for this phase; they must include a final report. You should also plan for attendance at a kick-off meeting at the start of the project and a close down meeting at the end of project. Your proposal must demonstrate how you will complete all activities/services and provide all deliverables within the timescales. Proposals with any deliverables (including final report) outside the competition timeline will be rejected as non-compliant.
A resourcing plan must also be provided that identifies, where possible, the nationalities of those proposed research workers that you intend to work on the project. In the event of proposals being recommended for funding, DASA reserves the right to undertake due diligence checks including the clearance of proposed research workers. Please note that this process will take as long as necessary and could take up to 6 weeks in some cases for non-UK nationals.
You must identify any ethical / legal / regulatory factors within your proposal and how the associated risks will be managed, including break points in the project if approvals are not received. MODREC approvals can take up to 5 months therefore you should plan your work programme accordingly. If you are unsure if your proposal will need to apply for MODREC approval, then please Contact DASA for guidance.
Requirements for access to Government Furnished Assets (GFA), for example, information, equipment, materials and facilities, should be included in your proposal. DASA cannot guarantee that GFA will be available so please propose a substitute if available.
Failure to provide any of the above listed will automatically render your proposal non-compliant.
When submitting your proposal, you will be required to include a proposal title and a short abstract. The title and abstract you provide will be used by DASA, and other government departments, to describe the project and its intended outcomes and benefits. It will be used for inclusion at DASA events and included in documentation such as brochures. The proposal title will also be published in the DASA transparency data, along with your company name, the amount of funding, and the start and end dates of your contract.
Open Call proposals will be subject to the full competition process and assessed using the criteria as detailed on the Competition process and assessment page.
DASA reserves the right to disclose on a confidential basis any information it receives from you during the procurement process to any third party engaged by DASA for the specific purpose of evaluating or assisting DASA in the evaluation of your proposal. For the specific purposes of considering additional funding for a competition and onward exploitation opportunities, DASA also reserves the right to share information in your proposal in-confidence with any UK Government Department. In providing such information you consent to such disclosure. Appropriate confidentiality agreements will be put in place.
Competition results are normally released on or shortly after the decision date.